1. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    using multiple chapters for two events at once.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by heyharris1, Aug 26, 2008.

    Ok, is this possible, i want to write two chapters, one right after the other. One describing one event and the other describing a different event. now they key is both events are happening actually at the same time. is that possible to use two chapters or do i need to use the same chapter but with breaks in between each event as it is happening. next question if it is possible to use two chapters what is the best way to make the reader understand.
    thank you
    jim
     
  2. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    I don't see why not. You could probably even do it without revealing it until the end of the second chapter.

    A way I could see it working is two groups converging on the same destination. At the end of the first chap. the first group comes upon their destination but they aren't alone. Don't reveal who these people are and go into the second chapter. Then start with the second group in chapter two on their way to the destination.

    Hope it makes sense.
     
  3. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I'd say you should use 2 separate chapters. Both of them in one chapter may get confusing.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The two events are clearly from different points of view, so I would probably use a chap[ter boundary to switch viewpoints, especially because there is basically a time discontinuity as you step back to the same starting point.

    Still, chapter breaks or section breaks - it's not a hard and fast decision. Whatever fits best with the chaptering you've setablished for the rest of the book.
     
  5. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I would go with two chapters, as dividing the two simultaneous events up into one chapter with numerous breaks (cutting from one event to the other and back again) might become overwhelming. It also might scatter the reader's attention between the two events, which is never a good thing.

    You can always start the second chapter with something like, "At the same time that such-and-such was happening over there (insert place or whatever), over here at another place (ditto), this was starting to unfold..."

    Not those exact words, but you get the idea. The reader knows then that this is taking place at the same time as the previous chapter.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Another possibility is to begin both chapters with some event observable by both points of view. It could be as simple as thew same sunrise, or both members saying a quick farewell before going their separate ways, or as dramatic as an explosion on the horizon or in orbit.

    Repeating a fragment of the common scene anchors both chapters to the same starting time.

    In some cases, you can get away with the anchor moment being at the end of the chapter, but you may have to give a hint of the parallel timing before then.
     
  7. heyharris1
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    heyharris1 Senior Member

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    thanks for all the great responses. quess i will use 2 chapters and do my best at making the reader know that its actually going on all at once.
    jim
     
  8. Carthonn
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    Carthonn Active Member

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    Yes I like that. Have both groups parting and then at the end seeing the same full moon or something. Good stuff.
     

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